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Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Who Knew Massage & Qi Gong Had So Much in Common?
By Suzanne Friedman, LAc
The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon (Neijing) was compiled in 200 BC, and it is still considered the bible of Chinese medicine today. The Neijing discusses four major healing modalities: acupuncture, pharmacology (herbs), massage and qi gong. Qi gong was then called dao yin, which translates as "guiding and pulling" but is sometimes called "gymnastics" in translated texts. Early Chinese medicine and Daoist texts frequently grouped massage and qi gong together as the two most powerful methods of self-healing. Qi gong became an official part of Chinese court medicine by the Tang dynasty, and it is likely that massage therapists were already part of court medicine before that time. In the Tang dynasty, the Office of Medicine employed two massage specialists.
Massage and qi gong are two complementary approaches to bodywork. It is said that qi gong balances the energy, blood and body fluid flow from the inside, and massage strengthens the flow from the outside. Qi gong uses intention and particular body movements to guide the qi in healthy directions, while the physical pressure and body manipulation of massage help to do so from the outside. Daoist masters and early Chinese medicine doctors saw the value of this internal-external approach to balance the body and harmonize the interior and exterior.
Early medical texts from the Daoist canon recommended massage and qi gong, particularly for muscle tension, locomotive and circulation issues, digestive disorders and psychosomatic disorders. Self-massage developed as a means of self-treatment and as warm-up exercises for meditation and qi gong practice, while professional massage therapists were still consulted when treatment was required.
Massage techniques became an integral part of qi gong practice early on. Self-massage warms the body, which stimulates the flow of blood and body fluids. Any qi gong practice that follows is said to be more powerful after circulation has been stimulated in this manner. The physical stimulation of massage will also help the practitioner to feel, and ultimately guide, the qi flow in the body. When you begin a qi gong practice, you start by visualizing the movement of qi until you can feel the flow of qi in your body. Once you can feel the flow of qi, you can then guide it. Thus, massage is a key technique to enhance and accelerate your ability to cultivate and circulate your energy. Likewise, self-massage techniques can loosen tight or stiff muscles that arise from our mostly sedentary lifestyle. If you do not rub or stretch these areas before qi gong exercises, you run the risk of injuring yourself.
Self-massage is also one of the best "quick pick me up" techniques out there. An exercise I like to do when I am feeling worn out or tired is called "Washing the Face." It obviously stimulates the flow of energy in the face, but it is important to remember that many of the yang acupuncture channels that ultimately connect to the brain are also stimulated when you rub your face. When you stimulate these channels, you are also stimulating the energy flow along these channels, which run from the arms to the head, down to the feet, or up to the crown of the head. Thus, your whole body will feel the increase in energy flow.
To practice Washing the Face, begin by placing the pads of your middle fingers on both sides of your nose, on either side of the nostrils. Inhale, and push all the pads of your fingers in and up as you push your hands up towards your scalp, putting pressure on your face wherever your fingers pass. When you exhale, rub your hands down your face to the starting position. I like to take a slow, deep inhale as I rub my hands up, and then do a quick forceful exhale as I bring my hands back down; almost like sneezing! If you repeat this exercise at least nine times, you will definitely feel more invigorated and energized.
While Chinese medicine schools in America now focus primarily on acupuncture and herbology, there is an increasing interest in Chinese medicine bodywork, as evidenced by the many AOBTA-approved Asian bodywork programs being offered by Chinese medicine schools.
The beauty of massage and qi gong is that you can either go to a professional for a treatment, or you can give yourself a treatment. You don't need any special equipment or tools, and you can practice anywhere or anytime you wish. As in the saying "healer, heal thyself," self-massage and qi gong are two ways to keep us strong, healthy and present for our clients and patients.
Dr. Suzanne Friedman is an acupuncturist, herbalist & doctor of medical qigong therapy. She is the Chair of the Medical Qigong Department at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, Calif., where she runs the Medical Qigong Anmo Asian Bodywork Certification program. Her new book, Heal Yourself with Qi Gong, will be released in the spring of 2009.
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